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Planning Commission

Minutes
Tuesday, August 09, 2011

 

ASHLAND PLANNING COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING

MINUTES

August 9, 2011

 

CALL TO ORDER

Chair Pam Marsh called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street.

 

Commissioners Present:

 

Staff Present:

Larry Blake

Michael Dawkins

Pam Marsh

Debbie Miller

Melanie Mindlin

 

Bill Molnar, Community Development Director

Derek Severson, Associate Planner

April Lucas, Administrative Supervisor

 

 

 

 

Absent Members:

 

Council Liaison:

None

 

Russ Silbiger, absent

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Commissioner Marsh announced tonight is Larry Blake’s last night and thanked him for his service on the Planning Commission.

 

Community Development Director Bill Molnar noted the Mayor is recommending the appointment of Eric Heesacker and Mick Church to the Planning Commission and this will be voted on by the Council at their August 16 meeting. He also announced at the last Council meeting the draft Historic Design Standards updates were presented and the Council voted for staff and the Planning Commission to move forward with the code amendments to implement those changes.

 

CONSENT AGENDA

A.      Approval of Minutes.

  1. July 12, 2011 Regular Meeting.

Commissioner Dawkins/Miller m/s to approve the Consent Agenda. Voice Vote: all AYES. [Commissioner Mindlin abstained]

 

PUBLIC FORUM

Jim Fong/759 Leonard St/Commented on the cell tower decision that was made last fall and explained he has met with staff on how to codify the Council’s decision in the municipal code. Mr. Fong commented on how other communities handle the placement of cell towers and recommended the City create a fair and balanced process for applicants and residents alike. He requested this issue be looked at by the Commission and adopted with the next “housekeeping” ordinance prior to the one year anniversary of the Council’s decision.

 

Rod Newton/1196 Timberline Terrace/Commented on the cell tower decision and how to incorporate new language into the municipal code that would address future telecommunication applications. Mr. Newton explained they have researched the cell tower laws of other communities and found that some require a deposit fee from the applicant that is used to hire professionals who can provide a third party review of the applicant’s technical materials. He stated this type of provision works well for other cities and believes it would be valuable for Ashland to have something like this in place.

 

Mr. Molnar noted staff has been compiling a list on minor language changes that need to be incorporated into the municipal code, and codifying Council’s decision on the cell tower appeal has been added to that list of “housekeeping” measures. He stated as part of the Pedestrian Places code amendments, there are some small changes to the Site Design chapter, and stated they could include these amendments in the Pedestrian Places package when it comes forward.  Mr. Molnar stated he does not expect codifying the Council’s decision to be controversial; however the deposit element is something new and will need to be further discussed. He stated staff will bring this issue back before the Commission at an upcoming meeting and they can decide whether it is appropriate to move forward with this incorporated into the Pedestrian Places amendments or separate it out.

 

Comment was made that there is nothing wrong with codifying the Council’s decision in the code, however there needs to be a much larger discussion at the Council level on how the city wants to handle the placement of telecommunication facilities and whether to adopt some type of fee for independent review of application materials. Additional comment was made that the Commission does not have the authority to adopt new fees, and any sort of deposit as recommended would need to be approved by the Council.

 

TYPE II PUBLIC HEARINGS

A.      PLANNING ACTION: #2011-00738                     

SUBJECT PROPERTY:  1405 Tolman Creek Road

APPLICANT:  Malibar Group, LLC

DESCRIPTION: A request for Outline and Final Plan approval for an eight-lot Performance Standards Subdivision to be developed in three phases for the vacant property located at 1405 Tolman Creek Road.  The application also includes requests for a Variance to reduce the number of on-street parking spaces by fifty percent in order to preserve a large (60-inch diameter) maple tree; an Exception to Street Standards to not install sidewalks along a portion of the new street; and a Physical & Environmental Constraints Review Permit to allow utility installation within the Hamilton Creek floodplain along Tolman Creek Road. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN DESIGNATION: Single Family Residential; ZONING: R-1-7.5; ASSESSOR’S MAP #: 39 1E 23 BA; TAX LOT: 308 and 501

Commissioner Marsh noted this action was continued from the July meeting and read aloud the procedures for land use hearings. 

 

Ex Parte Contact

No ex parte contact was reported by any of the commissioners. Commissioner Mindlin stated she has reviewed the packet materials, watched the July meeting video, and conducted a site visit. She stated she feels able and prepared to act on this item. Commission Blake stated he did some Google mapping of the site; and Commissioner Marsh conducted a site visit.

 

Staff Report

Associate Planner Derek Severson provided a brief overview of this action. He noted the public hearing was held at the July meeting but due to a request to leave the record open the Commission was unable to deliberate. Mr. Severson stated the packet contains the materials that were submitted while the record remained open and recommended the Commission address the following outstanding issues in their deliberation:

  • Trees and tree protection
  • Pedestrian Easement from Apple Way
  • Sidewalk exception to accommodate sidewalks on the north side only
  • Variance to reduce the on-street parking

Questions of Staff

Mr. Severson clarified several elements of the application, including the recommended conditions put forward by the applicants. He explained if it is not possible to relocate the pedestrian path as indicated on the plans, the applicants would create the connection along the existing easement that crosses the creek. In regards to the sidewalk exception, he stated staff is supportive of the exception but believes a continuous connection from Tolman Creek to Apple Way needs to be provided. Mr. Severson also commented on the on-street parking variance. He stated the applicants are very close to meeting the parking requirements and staff is recommending they present a revised site plan that accommodates the required number of spaces. He also clarified once constructed this would be a public street and staff does not believe the on-street parking will create a conflict when the adjacent lot develops.

 

Deliberations & Decisions

The Commission discussed the treatment of the trees, the variance to the on-street parking requirement, and the sidewalk installation. Support was voiced for a sidewalk on the north side and having a pedestrian easement that connects this development to Apple Way. Comment was made that the proposed route for the pedestrian path was preferred, but if negotiations fall through the original location will suffice. The Commission deliberated on the parking element and whether to grant the variance to the on-street parking requirements. Several comments were made voicing support for the applicants to meet the requirements and not granting the variance. Upon further deliberation, suggestion was made for the applicant to accommodate the parking requirement as each phase is completed and general support was voiced for this.

 

Commissioners Mindlin/Dawkins m/s to approve the Outline and Final Plan for the performance standards subdivision; to incorporate the applicant’s revised language for Conditions #3c, #3g and #6e; to eliminate the language regarding removal of the loop; to meet the parking requirements as the development is phased (each space to be within 200 ft as required); and to grant the exception to the street standards to not require sidewalks on both sides of the street. Roll Call Vote: Commissioners Blake, Dawkins, Miller, Mindlin and Marsh, YES. Motion passed 5-0.

 

OTHER BUSINESS

A.      TSP Joint Meeting Follow-Up Discussion

Commissioner Marsh asked if any of the commissioners wanted to share any follow up comments from the last joint TSP study session.

 

Commissioner Dawkins commented on the placement of sidewalks and stated sometimes having a sidewalk on just one side of the street makes a lot of sense, and cited the sidewalk on Strawberry Lane as an example of where a sidewalk should not have been placed. Suggestion was made for the Commission to discuss the sidewalk regulations at the next Commission Retreat. Mr. Molnar agreed that this is worth discussing and commented on the basis for these regulations.

 

ADJOURNMENT
Meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

April Lucas, Administrative Supervisor

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